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IPL 2021 Playoff Qualification Scenarios with 6 league games remaining

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IPL 2021 is heading towards the business end of the tournament, with just six league games remaining before the playoffs. With the Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore sealing their spot in the final four already, four teams are set to battle it out for the remaining slot.

The IPL has given some pulsating finishes over the years when it comes to the final round of games in group stages and this one is expected to be no less. The defending champions have everything to battle for against Rajasthan Royals tonight, whilst the Punjab Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders are hanging in there, expecting for their chance to open up.

The Sunrisers Hyderabad are out of the tournament, but they have two games against Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore. While the Orange Army have nothing to lose, both Mumbai and Bangalore will enter this contest under tremendous pressure as for them, this is a must-win contest.

Also Read: IPL 2021 : RR vs MI Game Plan : Get rid of Rajasthan’s top three and break the backbone of their batting

Here is what each of these four teams must do to ensure their side ends up in the final four of the IPL 2021.

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)

Current Standing: 4th

Games Remaining: 1

Minimum Games to win to ensure qualification: 1

Teams to face: Rajasthan Royals

Thanks to their superior net run rate, if Kolkata Knight Riders manage to win their final group game against the Rajasthan Royals, they will ease through to the playoffs and set up an eliminator clash with one among Chennai or Bangalore. Their fate is pretty much in their hands, and unless Mumbai Indians, who will be their only problem if they beat Rajasthan, register a win of gigantic proportions (of an unlikely kind) to overtake KKR’s net run rate, they are in safe hands.

Punjab Kings (PBKS)

Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul

The Punjab Kings remained a little too dependent on Agarwal and Rahul for the runs, and that haunted them multiple times.

Current Standing: 5th

Games Remaining: 1

Teams to face: Chennai Super Kings

Minimum Games to win to ensure qualification: 1

Punjab require some results to go their way if they intend to qualify. Firstly, they must win their final group game against Chennai before they head into the praying room. Rajasthan must lose to Mumbai, but defeat Kolkata, which will keep Punjab, Kolkata, Mumbai and Rajasthan at 12 points (Assuming Punjab wins against Chennai). Even in this scenario, Kolkata are likely to go ahead on NRR, which means Punjab, who are mathematically in contention, are least of the four favorites to grab the final ticket.

Rajasthan Royals (RR)

Current Standing: 6th

Games Remaining: 2

Teams to face: Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders

Minimum Games to win to ensure qualification: 2

Rajasthan Royals can qualify to the playoffs without any assistance from others if they win their final game. The net run rate will not be an issue as well, even remotely, as their final two games are against fellow contenders for the 4th spot – Mumbai and Kolkata. If they lose to Rohit Sharma‘s side tonight, although a mathematical possiblity remains, but they will require a massive win against Kolkata to keep themselves in the hunt.

Mumbai Indians (MI)

IPL

Ninth team and player auction on the BCCI”s agenda for IPL 2021.

Current Standing: 7th

Games Remaining: 2

Teams to face: Rajasthan Royals, Sunrisers Hyderabad

Minimum Games to win to ensure qualification: 2

Mumbai Indians have no other choice but to win their final two games to remain in contention. However, even winning those two games might not guarantee them a place in the final four, as they need a massive favor from Rajasthan, which is, for them to defeat Kolkata. It is likely that Mumbai’s NRR could remain less than Kolkata even if they win these remaining games by decent margins, and in their pursuit to win a 3rd consecutive title, they need the champions from IPL’s inaugural season to do them a favor.